Philip Durbin: “A Coarse Portal”

“A Coarse Portal” showcases local artist Philip Durbin’s most vivid work yet. “It’s going to be really bright, that’s for sure,” he says. “I used to just draw in black and white, and in the past couple years I found color and have been trying to blow it up — the color is pretty extreme.” No lie. Durbin uses only the boldest hues to create his cartoon monster-like characters. A man’s multicolored head has curtains for eyes and a staircase going up to his fang-filled mouth. A patterned-skinned cat with a sheet over his face looks at a mirror image of himself with his face showing. And then there are some non-creature creations such as a coffin helicopter. “I don’t know, I just like to draw basically without too much thought and then it just turns into a clean, finished drawing,” Durbin says. “It’s a fight between me and the page; I guess…it tells me more than my brain does most times.”

Whatever’s guiding him also leads him to illustrate these monsters and inventions using bricks and patterns instead of solid colors. The man’s head, for instance, is depicted using multicolored blocks, and the cat is made with a pattern of green, brown and white half circles. “Instead of having an open surface and trying to do shading, I would cover it with a pattern,” he says. “I can [shade], I’ve been trained but anybody can kind of like shade a sphere; I don’t see the point of it anymore.” Get out of the shade from noon to 7 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Through November 22. For information, call 713-568-8174 or visit Free.
Saturdays, Sundays. Starts: Oct. 25. Continues through Nov. 22, 2008

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Dusti Rhodes
Contact: Dusti Rhodes